Category Archives: Uncategorized

Motion Picture Preservation!

With the 2014 Oscars at a close, we here at INeedStorage wondered, where do we store all of those great films? We searched the depths of time and space (Google) to find out!

Nitrate Film Storage At The Packard Campus

One of 124 individual vaults for the more flammable nitrate film.

To understand the great lengths that Universal Studios, MGM, and many other motion pictures studios go to in order to preserve their investments we need to take a look at the lessons learned.  Film preservation was not of deep concern up until the past 20 years. Movies recorded on cellulose nitrate from the late 1800’s up until the 1950’s as well as cellulose acetate (plastic) films from the 1950’s on, were found to be deteriorating at rapid levels. As a result it is said the upwards of 90 percent of silent films and 50 percent of sound films made in America have been lost to decomposition.

Thanks to research performed by companies such as Kodak and, The Image Permanence Institute, it has been found that the remaining nitrate and cellulose films as well as more modern day polyester are best preserved in vaults that control temperature as well as humidity. With this information many motion picture companies have installed their own vaults that keep the film roughly in the area of 57 degrees with a humidity level of 50 percent. The UCLA Film and Television Archive is even said to have a vault within a vault that keeps extremely rare negatives at 46.8 degrees. The largest of all these you ask, The Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. The Campus houses the world’s largest collection of film, television programs, radio broadcasts, and sound recordings all within a 415,000 square foot building containing 95 miles of shelving, 35 climate controlled vaults, and 124 specialty vaults for the flammable nitrate film. Now that’s what we call storage!

Photo of the Packard Campus

The Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. Photo by Bob Bieberdorf

With the switch from 35mm to digital in the film industry, storage has once again become a major issue. With storage costs for digital being upwards of 1100% more costly than storing regular film and the fact that there is not yet a reliable media for storing digital copies for hundreds of years, many in the industry are questioning and criticizing the use of digital film. One strong example, of how un-reliable technology in cinematography can be, The Pixar film Toy Story 2 had almost been completely lost due to a delete command accidentally entered on one of the companies computers containing the film. To make things worse, the backups that they had were faulty. The only thing that saved their $245,852,179 domestic box office take was the fact that an employee had made her own backups to show her kids on a family vacation. Talk about a close one right?

Scene from toy story 2

For the film industry, choosing the right storage means saving money as well as preserving the past. Pore Leo might not have his golden statue to pass down through the generations but his family will be able to see his accomplishments for years to come.

 

Sources:

http://www.filmpreservation.org/preservation-basics/the-film-preservation-guide

http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-12/film-tv/35-mm-film-digital-Hollywood/?storyPage=6

http://www.loc.gov/film/storage.html

http://www.loc.gov/avconservation/packard/

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=toystory2.htm

Stunning Malcolm X Related Documents Found In Storage Unit

malcolm_x

The influx of storage auction attendees in the past couple of years is a reflection of the current status of the American Dream. We all want to get rich- and quick! While many storage units are auctioned off daily, only a few hold objects of true monetary value… and even fewer act as tombs for the invaluable. Such a storage unit was auctioned off recently in Connecticut, inside the unit were documents that were pivotal to American history. Malcolm “Shorty” Jarvis, a musician who was a close confidant of Malcolm X, followed his friend’s career closely and scrap booked his achievements, leaving these treasures to collect dust in a storage unit after his passing. Just over one-thousand documents were purchased by a collector of African American historical artifacts, who then sold the assorted papers and scrap books to the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation in Omaha in co-operation with  the Black History 101 Mobile Museum in Detroit.

“Once (the buyer) found out that it was of a significant historical nature, he decided then he didn’t want to break the collection up. He wanted to make sure it went to the right home,” said Khalid el-Hakim the man who created the Black History 101 Museum, and whom still curates the museum today. The contents of the storage unit passed hands repeatedly before finally settling in the belonging of the two museums, and will offer a unique glimpse into the life of not only Malcolm X but also Malcolm Jarvis, a close friend of X’s. While the documents contain evidence of Malcolm X and Malcolm Jarvis’s involvement in a 1945 home theft, there is also a scrapbook documenting Malcolm X’s life; a testament to the reverence and respect these friends felt for one another. Such a compendium of information regarding one of the Civil Rights Movements most prominent leaders is an invaluable contribution to museums such as the Black History 101 Mobile Museum as well as the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation. Keep attending auctions in your area and follow your instincts if you have a hunch about a particular unit, you never know what relic is lying buried within.

Packing Your Self Storage Unit

Helpful-Storage-Unit

Don’t just throw your items into storage. By organizing your storage unit, you will be able to access your items more easily, and you wont have to waste your time searching throughout the whole unit. Not to mention you have less of a chance of causing damage to any of your belongings.

1. Use boxes that are relatively the same size. They are much easier to pack and stack. You can find boxes of all sizes at SMS Moving Boxes. (highly recommended)

2. Leave a small walkway in between your boxes so you can get to all your items without having to move everything around.

3. Fill your boxes as much as possible. When they are not filled, they are more likely to collapse.

4. Store your most valuable items in the back of your unit, so they are harder to access in case of theft.

5. Never leave anything flammable or combustible in your storage unity.

6. If you are storing freezers or refrigerators, make sure to defrost and completely drain them. Wipe them out and leave the doors open to prevent mold or mildew from growing.

7. Protect your furniture from dust by laying linens or plastic over your furniture.

Correctly and efficiently organizing and packing your unit will save you time and money. Think about it, If your unit was nice and tidy you could probably go down a unit size and save yourself the extra rent fee’s.